On March 8 the state Senate of Virginia passed HB 1160, the bill that would prevent the use of any state agency or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force to participate in the unlawful detention of a citizen of Virginia by the U.S. government in violation of the state and federal constitution as set forth in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate vote completed legislative action on the bill, which had already been approved by Virginia's House of Delegates where it was introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall (left). However, Governor Bob McDonnell has yet to act on this bill that has languished on his desk for a month.
Marine Sergeant and Armed Forces Tea Party founder Gary Stein (left) could face an “other than honorable” discharge from the service for criticizing and ridiculing President Obama on Facebook — at least if a General agrees with the military board’s controversial recommendation. Stein’s enlistment was set to end in just a few months.
Free-speech advocates from across the political spectrum rallied to the embattled Marine’s defense, saying the military was trampling on his rights and that dismissal from the armed forces would have a chilling effect on soldiers’ ability to speak freely. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the conservative-leaning United States Justice Foundation both worked on Stein’s behalf.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in five states where marijuana is legal for medicinal use sent a scathing open letter to President Obama demanding that he uphold his campaign promise to end the federal government’s war on patients. Shortly thereafter, an alliance of non-profit drug law-reform groups sent a similar letter.
Sixteen states and Washington D.C. have nullified unconstitutional federal drug statutes and currently allow sick people to lawfully purchase medical marijuana for a range of conditions including cancer, severe pain, and more. The U.S. government, however, still considers cannabis use to be illegal for any purpose, sparking frequent clashes between state and federal authorities over the years.
Because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for filing federal income-tax returns this year falls on April 17. Coincidentally, that is also Tax Freedom Day for 2012: the day on which the average American will have worked long enough to pay his share of all the taxes government will extract from the populace this year.
While Washington's political leaders and much of the nation's news media have been calling attention to and raising alarm over Iran's nuclear program, the United States has been quietly making plans for nuclear-powered unmanned planes, according to the London Guardian newspaper.